Before Writing Your Thesis

You should begin your thesis process by the second semester of classes as a master’s student, or at least one year before you plan to receive your degree as a Ph.D. student. Below are some items to consider as you begin the thesis process.

Review OGS requirements
You are encouraged to communicate with the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) staff to verify that you are following the necessary guidelines for producing the thesis. You should also be certain that you understand the process of registering for research credits.
Review department requirements
Departments may have additional requirements specific to their discipline. It is your responsibility to know the deadlines specific to your department and whether or not special organization and formatting are required. If special department or committee requirements contradict the information in this guide, you must resolve the conflict before writing the thesis.
Request thesis advisor and committee
At both the master’s and Ph.D. levels, the student is responsible for choosing a thesis advisor. The Dean of Graduate Studies appoints the thesis committee, based on the recommendations of the student, thesis advisor, and department head. A signed Advisor/Thesis Committee form must be filed with the OGS.
Present research proposal
After a thesis topic has been selected, a research proposal is written. The research proposal is a description of the research the student intends to undertake, which will be reported in a more detailed and comprehensive fashion in the thesis. The proposal is your opportunity to convince the advisory committee of your ability to pursue the project to a successful conclusion. The thesis proposal itself does not need to be approved by the OGS.
Admission to Candidacy
Submit completed and approved Admission to Candidacy form to OGS.